The specially challenged people who gathered at Kolkata's Rotary Sadan on Monday could not have asked for a better gift than this on the Inetrnational Day of Persons with Disabilities.
On this day, the Calcutta Stock Exchange inaugurated a book on capital markets -- Taking Stock -- in Braille.
Named 'Finance For All', the event was attended by a large number of students from Ramakrishna Mission Blind Boys' Academy, Narendrapur and also by members of the Welfare Society for the Blind.
The entire proceedings were meticulously interpreted in sign language by Ujani Kundu for the hearing impaired attendees.
Authored by Samik Bhaduri, its assistant manager, CSE brought out this book through its Investor Protection Fund Trust and was assisted by Regional Braille Press of Ramakrishna Mission.
CSE is the first stock exchange in the country to take up such a cause.
"Taking Stock is a small handbook on capital markets, a 40-page publication (in Braille it will be roughly 100 pages) that attempts to explain the basics of capital markets," Bhaduri told rediff.com.
"The book is aimed at novice investors and is written in a common man's language so that any one who is not even remotely associated with stock market can take part in it," he added.
"The idea of this book came from B Madhav Reddy, managing director and chief executive officer of CSE. I just gave a proper shape to it," the author said.
"Over one billion people, or approximately 15 per cent of the world's population, live with some form of disability," said Reddy in his opening
As people with disabilities often cannot participate in every aspect of the society, they have scanty knowledge of modern technologies, new rules, new piece of information.
"The book will act as a leveller and will send out a signal that each and every member of this society has right to receive guidance on personal finance."
The CSE has laid out an elaborate plan for the book's distribution.
"Starting today, two copies of the book will be sent to each and every institution for the blind across the globe," Bhaduri told rediff.com.
"We will distribute this book free of cost so that it reaches the maximum number of people," said Bhaduri.
The book will be sent to all the major libraries of the country and abroad, he informed.
"We welcome all non-traders to read this book and get themselves empowered.
"Capital market is an interesting place and we want each and every individual to enjoy its intricacies.
"We have a plan to circulate compact discs of the book's e-version for those who is not conversant in Braille.
Monday's event was attended by Swami Suparnananda of Ramkrishna Mission, Jharna Sur of Welfare Society for the Blind and Biswajit Ghosh, principal of the Ramakrishna Mission Blind Boys' Academy, Narendrapur among others.
Apart from the book's launch, the event also saw CSE felicitating some prominent achievers who overcame their diability and made their mark in the society.
Image: Biswajit Ghosh, principal, Ramakrishna Mission Blind Boys' Academy, Narendrapur, is being given a copy of Taking Stock by B Madhav Reddy, managing director and chief executive officer of CSE. | Photograph: Dipak Chakraborty